There was a tiny hamlet, maybe six hours outside Port au Prince, filled with the ghosts of small children. The whole area, not just the village, had been isolated by the Cedras regime, and now three-quarters of the town's children had died in a mumps epidemic. Their parents had voted for Aristide in the previous election, and those votes -- officially registered in Port au Prince -- had cost them dearly under the current military dictatorship. Add the U.S. embargo, and the people were virtually cut off from the capitol.
The village leader had lost three children of his own; two in one day, and a third he had carried on his back all the way down a long, treacherous road to a health clinic that had been closed. The military, weeks before, had cleared out all medicine and equipment and taken it back to Port au Prince -- more punishment for their Aristide vote. He made the long trek back to his village -- with child on his back -- where she later died.
Now his son -- his last child -- was sick. This portrait shows this child clutching the hand of his father. My eyes locked with the village leader for quite some time and knew what he said was very important. I asked my interpreter what he said and his response was, "please tell the world we are the ones who are suffering." Photo copyright ©2010, Colin Finlay.
Photo and caption provided by Western Digital Corp.